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November 17, 2004

UCSD Vice Chancellor Named To Statewide Stem Cell Commission

By Leslie Franz

Edward W. Holmes, M.D., vice chancellor for health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at UC San Diego, has been appointed by UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox as UCSD’s representative to the Independent Citizens Oversight Commission (ICOC), the appointed body that will govern the stem cell research institute approved with the passage of Proposition 71 in the November 2 election.

The chancellors of the five UC campuses with a medical center were each entitled to appoint an executive officer of his or her campus to the 29-member ICOC.

“With the passage of Proposition 71, California voters expressed their support for progress and innovation in an area of research that hold great promise for the treatment of human disease,” said Chancellor Fox. “With implementation of this historic initiative, California will become a global leader in stem cell research. The San Diego region is already an internationally recognized hub for biomedical research and biotechnology and will have a major role in future stem cell research endeavors.”

Chancellor Fox continues, “As a leader in establishing collaborative, multidisciplinary research and development efforts leading to improved treatments for human patients, Ed Holmes will be a strong representative for the public, the research community, and for our region.”

As vice chancellor for health sciences, Holmes serves as dean of the UCSD School of Medicine and oversees the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the UCSD Healthcare system. He was recruited to UCSD in 2000 after serving as dean of the Medical School at Duke University, Senior Associate Dean for Research at Stanford University, and chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He was previously a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and a recognized expert in molecular medicine. He has been a national leader in developing innovative programs for training physician scientists. Holmes holds an M.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

“I look forward to participating with many distinguished colleagues in the important work of the ICOC,” said Holmes. “California has the potential to become the epicenter of this exciting and promising new approach to understanding and treating human disease. San Diego is especially well positioned to play a leadership role in this promising new area of research and therapeutics, with the numerous academic and private sector institutions committed to improving human health in this community.

“Through creative partnerships we will work to assure that the Institute for Regenerative Medicine supports the highest quality of research, conducted in the best interest of the public, to advance new therapies for patients,” he said.

He added that stem cell biology creates opportunities to establish models of human disease that have not been possible before, with the potential to design new therapies for devastating disorders such as diabetes, heart disease, and a range of neurological disorders.

Media contact: Leslie Franz (619) 543-6163

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